View Full Version : Calumet b&w film prices?

John Cook
2-Aug-2005, 04:01
You may recall me recently grumbling about the condition of b&w film ordered from B&H.

B&H is my main supplier. I enjoy their low prices and fast service. An uncomplicated order is usually shipped the same day and delivered by UPS here in New England overnight.

But the last time I ordered multiple boxes of 4x5 Tri-X sheet film I received an assortment of expiration dates, one year apart.

Their 35mm offerings are almost always shipped without packaging. Obviously plucked from a 50-roll bulk box.

And then the whole order is packed up in a flimsy corrugated carton which always arrives squashed, if not torn open.

So lately I have decided to pay a little more, wait a little longer and deal with Calumet in Chicago. All the same emulsion, factory-fresh and beefy shipping boxes.

But to my surprise (and the main point of this post) is that on many of the films I use the price is actually a buck or two lower than B&H. How about that?

Just thought some of you fellow thrifty shoppers may have missed that little tidbit.

Tom Westbrook
2-Aug-2005, 05:07
I have noticed that same thing. I quit buying film from B&H a year or so ago and always get it either locally (West Photo) or from Calumet. I'm in Minneapolis, so Calumet is much quicker for me. Their film/paper has always been fresh and they usually have what I need in stock when I need it (the opposite was frequently true of B&H). I also noticed that prices were the same or better than B&H. Another good thing is that once or twice a year they offer 10% off darkroom paper and/or film. As John says, they do a great job of packaging everything.

One thing to note about them is that they don't seem to list everything they carry on their web site (very odd): you can email or call them and ask if they have it and if they can add it to the site if it's something you order regularly (had to do that with Tri-X 220). One thing I hope they attend to is diversifying their B&W paper selection.

Ted Harris
2-Aug-2005, 11:57
John, why aren't you ordering from Calumet in Cambridge? You would get it overnight.

tim atherton
2-Aug-2005, 12:07
Interesting - Calumets Tri-X is about $25 more than B&H, but their HP5 is about $8.00 cheaper (different number of sheets per box though)

2-Aug-2005, 12:53
I can't comment on prices but B&H has definitely shifted away from professional photography to consumer digital. I live less than 10 blocks from them and find it easier to deal with mail order.

John Cook
2-Aug-2005, 14:00
Thanks, Ted, for the little jog back to reality about Cambridge. I have apparently reached the age where I quickly become set in my ways. Even the modern ones. My computer automatically goes to the Calumet Chicago website. Forgot all about the Massachusetts store.

Haven't ordered film by telephone since everyone was complaining about Clinton instead of Bush.

But then, political complaints are normal. I remember when comedians used to joke that the L.S.M.F.T. on the bottom of Lucky Strike cigarette packs stood for "Lord save me from Truman".

I see the Cambridge location is (617) 576-2600.

Open M-F 8 to 6, Sat 9-5:30.

Just need to write it down someplace...

2-Aug-2005, 16:24
I have to second the comment about B&H, I haven't received an undamaged box from them in years. Their boxes are wimpy. In fact, I received a product shipped in the manufacturer's box that was clearly stamped, "box not suitable for shipping." When I returned the damaged product and complained that it was improperly shipped, they sent me another one shipped the same way. Fortunately it had escaped damage.

2-Aug-2005, 20:26
And they occasionally, like this past weekend, have a 10% discount on film and paper.

Ralph Barker
2-Aug-2005, 21:31
B & Who? (big wink)

In years past, they were occasionally difficult to deal with. Now, they seem simply unreliable.

3-Aug-2005, 08:09
"B & Who? (big wink)"

Beards & Hats...

Ed Richards
3-Aug-2005, 10:16
Thanks for the heads up! Only only real complaint was some Paterson developer that was DOA and their customer sevice has completely ignored me. OTOH, they liquid chemicals very cheaply in those wimpy boxes, and that is great for those of us who live outside the range of a serious photo store.